|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-20 The prophet relates the more gloomy and discouraging part of his experience, and how he found support and relief. In the time of his trial the Lord had become terrible to him. It was an affliction that was misery itself; for sin makes the cup of affliction a bitter cup. The struggle between unbelief and faith is often very severe. But the weakest believer is wrong, if he thinks that his strength and hope are perished from the Lord.
Verses 7-9. - Three figures, interrupted by a literal statement of the ill success of prayer. A traveller who finds himself suddenly caged up by a high thorn hedge (comp. Job 3:23; Hosea 2:6). A prisoner with a heavy chain. Again, a traveller suddenly shut up by solid stone walls (comp. Hosea 2:8). Verse 7. - My chain; literally, my brass (comp. Judges 16:21; 2 Kings 25:7).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He hath hedged me about, that I cannot go out,.... When in prison, or in the dungeon, or during the siege of Jerusalem; though the phrase may only denote in general the greatness of his troubles, with which he was encompassed, and how inextricable they were; like a hedge about a vineyard, or a wall about a city, which could not easily be got over:
he hath made my chain heavy; his affliction intolerable. It is a metaphor taken from malefactors that have heavy chains put upon their legs, that they may not make their escape out of prison: or, "my brass" (g); that is, chains, or a chain made of brass; so the Targum,
"he hath made heavy upon my feet fetters of brass.''
(g) Sept. "aes meum, vel chalybem meum", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7-9. hedged—(Job 3:23; Ho 2:6).
chain—literally, "chain of brass."
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